Hauraki Rail Trail


    enquire now 3 Days From NZD $1,295 pp twinshare
    Terms & Conditions apply

    Highlights

    • Cycle the flat, easy Hauraki Rail Trail between historic gold towns
    • Ride the Miranda Shorebird Coast, internationally renowned for its migratory shorebirds
    • Explore the historic gold mining townships of Thames and Waihi
    • Cycle through the Karangahake Gorge, featuring a 1100m tunnel and intriguing gold mining relics
    • Enjoy a break off the bike at the Matatoki cheese factory
    • Take a swim or walk at Waihi Beach, boasting 9km of stunning white sand
    • Stand tall next to Paeroa’s giant ‘famous in NZ’ L&P bottle
    • Soak up the views of lush Waikato farmland under the gaze of Mt Te Aroha

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Auckland to Thames via Kaiaua – 55km Cycle
    Your Hauraki Rail Trail Adventure begins with a short tour briefing in Auckland before driving south to Kaiaua on the Shorebird Coast. After a bike set-up and safety talk, it’s an easy, flat, 10km ride to a hide where we check out the area’s precious birdlife. From there, the trail skirts around the Firth of Thames, offering expansive views of coastal wetlands and verdant farmland, with the volcanic Coromandel Ranges as a dramatic backdrop. Lunch at the Buggar café in Pipiroa fuels us for our afternoon’s ride to Thames, crossing the Waihou River along the way before being welcomed by the community arts trail, scattered with sculptures. Tonight we stay at delightful waterfront accommodation just on the edge of town. We’ll have time to explore the town itself, or we can take a short drive up the West coast of the Coromandel Ranges for an easy walk through native bush to see one of the finest remaining kauri stands in New Zealand. This trail is reminiscent of where bushmen, gum-diggers and gold miners sought their fortunes, routinely crossing over to the east side of the Ranges on rugged bush tracks through forests of mighty Kauri. (D)

    Day 2 Thames to Waihi – 58km Cycle
    Our second day starts with a delicious breakfast at a local café, before retracing our steps to Kopu and heading south on the old railway line through lush farmland. A coffee stop at the Matatoki Cheese factory, gears us up for our next ride through the township of Paeroa, ‘world famous in New Zealand’ for its giant L&P bottle. After lunch, we follow the Ohinemuri River into the dramatic Karangahake Gorge and the most popular section of the Rail Trail. The gorge is a sharply winding canyon, formed by the river, and combines natural beauty and gold mining history. Highlights include the cascading Owharoa waterfall, fascinating gold mining sites and an amazing 1100-metre long railway tunnel. Halfway through the gorge is Waikino Station. Here you have the choice to either take the train through to Waihi, if our timing fits the train schedule, or continue pedalling this final 8km stretch. Waihi is New Zealand’s ‘Heart of Gold’, with a gold mining history spanning three centuries and a local open-pit mine that is still fully operational and open to visitors. The town is close to glorious beaches and we’ll be staying at Waihi Beach, boasting 9km of white sand which we’ll have time to explore. (B, D)

    Day 3 Waihi to Auckland via Matamata – 60km Cycle
    This morning, we’ll take a ride in our support vehicle back to Paeroa to pick up the next section of the trail to Te Aroha. Along the way we’ll ride through pretty Waikato farmland with wide-ranging views across the Hauraki Plains. Front and centre are the bushy Kaimai-Mamuka ranges, including the highpoint Mt Te Aroha, ‘the mountain of love’ and nestled beneath sits Te Aroha itself. After lunch we embark on the last, and newest, section of the trail through fertile plains, ravines, impressive horse studs, goat farms and groves of scented trees. We finish our journey in the rural town of Matamata, referred to by many today as Hobbiton. After some drinks and nibbles to celebrate new friendships and our completion of the Hauraki Rail Trail, we’ll drive back to Auckland. (B, L)

    Inclusions

    • 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 evening meals
    • 2 nights hotel/motel accommodation on a twin share basis
    • Professional qualified guide/driver
    • Private vehicle transport
    • Water and snacks while cycling
    • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

    AdventureSouth-HRC

    Images courtesy of AdventureSouth